We’ve suspected that Pixels would be an almighty disaster ever since we saw the first trailer, but it’s actually worse than we feared. Director Chris Columbus is clearly trying to create another great fantasy adventure, but he’s hamstrung by a short-sighted script. And Adam Sandler’s painful performance. »
Marvel’s latest superhero movie, Ant-Man, is very well made. It has some good action and a few really clever bits. There are some funny parts, along with some not-that-funny parts. This movie pretty much gets the job done. But it’s not particularly memorable, or especially amazing. »
Minions is kind of a critic-proof movie. You pretty much already know what you’re getting from this film: one and a half hours of those walking twinkies from the Despicable Me Movies. Amusing antics! Nonsensical babble! Contrived situations! It feels like a direct-to-DVD movie, but it’ll make a billion dollars. »
Say the words “Tim Burton’s Superman Lives” on the Internet and you feel the hate. Nicolas Cage as Superman? Those terrible costumes? It would’ve been the worst movie of all time. Well, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? just might prove that the entire internet is wrong.
Self/Less, the new movie starring Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds, clearly wants to remind you of Limitless, the hit movie from 2011. There’s the similar title, but also another story of human enhancement with a dark side. And Self/Less proves that “posthuman thrillers” are becoming a genre. »
Arnold Schwarzenegger is once again playing a machine cloaked in human skin in Terminator Genisys, but now he’s the most human thing in a plastic movie. Arnie’s trademark grimace looks rough around the edges, like a slab of petrified wood after years of erosion. In a movie that’s basically shitty comfort food, the… »
Sometimes, you see a haunting short film that just cries out to become a full-length movie. Case in point: Advantageous, a short film by Jennifer Phang released in 2013. She’s expanded it to full length, and the added time and budget have turned a beautiful short into an eerily intense feature. »
In November 2013, a five-year-old boy named Miles Scott won our hearts when the Make-A-Wish Foundation transformed him into Batkid for a day. The new documentary Batkid Begins takes us behind the scenes of that day and shows us how one kid’s wish became a massive phenomenon.
The first Ted movie, about a teddy bear toy that comes to life for its boy owner, and causes major trouble when that boy becomes a grown-up, was gleefully dirty and intermittently hilarious. Its sequel takes a new direction, swapping raunch for earnestness. It’s problematic, to say the least. »
The concept of Inside Out sounds unbearably twee, not to mention borrowed from the sitcom Herman’s Head. We’re seeing inside the head of a young girl, where each of her emotions is a cartoon, voiced by a comedian. But Inside Out is actually a brilliant movie about the beginning of wisdom. »
Despite an island’s worth of good intentions, Jurassic World is an uneven movie in a lot of ways. The human characters basically don’t work, the movie wallows in nostalgia, and the story is murky. But where it counts — beautiful dinosaur action! — this movie delivers enough to make us remember why we love these beasts. »
In our new series, A Scientist Responds, we’re dredging up the great and terrible disaster flicks of days past—and we’re making scientists watch them. Today’s movie: 1998’s asteroid thriller, Deep Impact. The scientist: io9’s resident geophysicist, Mika McKinnon. »
Insidious and its sequel were enjoyably frightening tales of a family haunted by parasitic spirits — and the medium, Elise (Lin Shaye), who sets them free. Insidious: Chapter 3 introduces a new ghostly dilemma, then pastes Elise into the narrative — like an afterthought, who also happens to carry the entire story. »
Melissa McCarthy was wonderful in Bridesmaids and The Heat, but she’s had a hard time carrying a film by herself. Her new film Spy gives her a pretty good showcase, but it’s also pretty uneven, and lapses into laughing at her, rather than with her. A huge part of the problem? It can’t get over being a genre spoof. »
Sense8, the mysterious new show from the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, goes up tomorrow on Netflix. We’ve seen the first three episodes... and we’re still not sure what the show is about. No real spoilers here, because we would have to understand what’s going on to spoil anything. »
When Marnie Was There is quite possibly the final movie from Studio Ghibli, the source of wonderment for the past 30 years. And it’s not in the top tier of Ghibli movies, but it’s still pretty wonderful... and beautifully sad. Check out an exclusive clip, and read our review. »
The new remake of Poltergeist was a modest box office success in its opening weekend, and it’s pretty much already made back its production budget. But it’s not a good movie, even if you divorce it from the 1982 movie. It’s not horrible, either. But its best feature is that it’s mercifully short. »
San Andreas is filled with ludicrous, special effects-laden chaos, and it paints its main character’s quest to reunite his family — an all-too-familiar disaster-movie trope — with the broadest possible strokes. But if you can put up with ridiculous science (and cheese), it’s a fun, silly summer movie. »
Lots of movies have a wonderful first half, followed by a blah second half. Setup is often easier than follow-through. But Tomorrowland, out today, might become the clearest example of this syndrome. And the reason Tomorrowland falls apart halfway through is because it sinks into Baby Boomer angst. Spoilers ahead...
Good Kill is the latest high tech parable from director Andrew Niccol, best known for scifi flicks GATTACA and In Time. Set in 201o, it deals with “actual events” in the lives of drone pilots flying assassination missions over Afghanistan. The movie is uneven, but it will give you a look at drone warfare that’s unlike… »